This was our 4th cruise with Cunard our preferred cruise line, our party consisted of myself, my husband, my daughter aged 23 and my son aged 25. We go on holiday together as a family every year as we lead busy lives and it gives us time to relax and catch up. We booked the cruise approximately 6 weeks before departure and we were happy we were allocated rooms next to each other as we were advised this may not be the case.
We had not travelled on the Queen Elizabeth before but soon realised it was almost identical to her sister ship the Queen Victoria and the itinerary was very much the same. I am not the sort of person to sit around all day and I love to take part in all the sporting activities which happen throughout the day. It is a good way of meeting other people and forming friendships whilst on board. When on a sea day it is a good way of breaking up the day, but I feel more time could be taken to plan the activities better so there is no overlap and you are able to take part in all activities on offer. The entertainment staff on board were excellent, they made activities fun and worked very hard at making sure everyone involved had a good time.
Since going on the QM2 five years ago we have noticed standards in the restaurants have fallen year on year. It is certainly not fine dining any more with poor quality food and a limited choice. Our waiter this year was rude, when a fellow diner on our table was not ready to order the waiter retorted 'and', this resulted in some bad feeling between the guest and the waiter for the rest of their trip. The same waiter also resorted to dressing down another waitress in front of other diners in the restaurant. This year we found that the strict dress code was not enforced and one diner turned up in a pair of jeans and an anorak to a formal night in the Britannia Restaurant.
On another occasion when ordering drinks at the bar, the barman asked my daughter for ID. I explained that she was 23, but she showed him her ID card whereby the barman insinuated it was mine. I was taken a back that not only did the barman not believe me when I told him my daughters age but then went on to insinuate that I would give her my own ID card.
We were due to arrive in the port of Athens the next day so we went to the information desk to get details of how best to travel to Athens on our own. We were assured that there would be a shuttle bus to the end of the port and then there would be a 15 minute walk to catch the Metro. However there was no shuttle bus and we still had not reached the Metro 50 minutes later, we had to get a taxi had we known this we had got a taxi at the port.
The evening entertainment this year was disappointing with not enough variety, each night there would be an all singing and dancing extravaganza but it was very repetitive and some evenings we would give it a miss. We spent most of our evenings in the Golden Lion Pub where there was a nightly quiz which proved very popular with a lot of guests.
On our day of disembarkation we were told to vacate our rooms by 8.15 and be in the Britannia Restaurant by 8.30. There seemed to be a mix up with the colour of our disembarkation tags and we didn't seem to be on any list to leave the ship, but we were put onto a coach anyway and taken to the airport 7 hours before our flight. There was not seats to sit on in the airport and we were pushed from pillar to post by airport staff.
This was a very disappointing end to our holiday as we felt Cunard just couldn't wait to get us off the ship even though there had been a huge communication break down regarding when we should have disembarked.
Overall the holiday had its good and bad points, but the poor food and lack of respect by some members of staff has left us wondering if we should travel with Cunard again.